The International Association of Agricultural Museums is a forum for organisations dedicated to promoting interest in the impact of agriculture on human society through the ages. For more information about our origins and our work, see About Us.

We publish a number of articles on topics to do with the history of agriculture, both on-line and in our newsletters. We feature virtual presentations on AIMA’s official YouTube channel.

If you’re interested in the history of agriculture, or are involved in a museum or organization dealing in some way with the subject, why not join us.

A number of organizations are already members: have a look.

World Milk Day 2024 AIMA Lecture Series

The International Association of Agricultural Museums is pleased to share the recording of WORLD MILK DAY - 1 June 2024 - available HERE. The program conveyed the importance of milk and dairy products for pastoralists across time and place.


Debra Reid, PhD, Curator of Agriculture and the Environment, The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Michigan, USA: an overview of women and dairying in the United States and change over time.

Dominique Frère, Professor of archeology and ancient history at the University of Bretagne Sud (southern Brittany), France: an overview of cheese based in archaeological evidence.

Prof. S Rajeshwaran, BVSc PGDRM PhD (IIMB), Development Management Institute, Patna, India: an overview of traditional dairying in India.

Claus Kropp, Scientific manager of the Lauresham Open Air Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology, Lorsch, Germany: the triple purpose cow, i.e., for milk, power, and (eventually) meat. 

Barbara Corson, Pennsylvania, USA, farmer and VDM: moderator.


World Bee Day 2024 AIMA Lecture Series

The International Association of Agricultural Museums is pleased to share the recording of CELEBRATING WORLD BEE DAY - May 20, 2024 - available HERE. This webinar featured the rich traditions and vital importance of beekeeping.


Dr. Anupama K. is a palynologist and paleo-ecologist at the French Institute of Pondicherry, India. Using pollen grains, phytoliths, and other palynological and paleo-ecological techniques, her research adds a lot to what we know about past environments, ecosystems, and how plant communities change over time. The concepts of her study extend the significance of bees and other pollinators in ecosystems.

Lulseged Belayhun is a beekeeping manager at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His work at icipe encompasses a multidisciplinary approach that integrates scientific research, community engagement, and policy advocacy to promote sustainable beekeeping practices and enhance the contribution of bees to ecosystem health and human well-being in Ethiopia and beyond.

Željka Petrović Osmak is the museum advisor at the Ethnographic Museum in Croatia's capital, Zagreb. She maintains an extensive collection of traditional economy including agriculture, animal husbandry, viticulture, olive growing, fishing, hunting, transportation, and beekeeping. In 2021 she recorded a film about beekeeping on Mihaljević's farm in Okić.

Barbara Sosič, the museum chancellor and curator for rural agriculture at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is committed to preserving Slovenia's beekeeping heritage. She researches traditional approaches while also addressing current issues affecting beekeepers and pollinators in the region.


Draft Cattle Capture a World Audience

Logo designed for the Symposium by silhouette artist ©Lauren Muney

The Draft Cattle Symposium in Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kloster Lorsch in Germany, 8-10 March 2024

Draft Cattle Symposium attendees and Lauresham staff members clustering around the stars of the show during the Saturday outdoor demonstrations. See handsome drone views of the Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory grounds in the video at (Courtesy Lauresham)

To say the very least of this remarkable meeting, it has been “a-building” for many years through efforts from many and varied partners and institutions, among them the AIMA, several of whose members participated. Momentum has been created over some twenty plus years of networking, nearly all of it informal, between the German Working Cattle Group, the even more informal French enthusiasts today centered on the communication hub Attelages Bovins d’Aujourd’hui (Working Cattle Today) and a medley of oxdrivers across Europe, North America and Australia. The challenge of organizing the meeting was taken up by AIMA President Claus Kropp, Director of the Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory, nestled in the Kloster Lorsch UNESCO world heritage site in the Land of Hessen, Germany, so, first of all, a word on the long-term context of place and people.

Copper engraving of Kloster Lorsch and town around 1615 by Matthaeus Merian, DE Wikipedia, public domain

Today, a lively attraction for researchers and the public, once nearly abandoned by the passage of time, the religious establishment housed an eminent scriptorium from the 8th century to the late Middle Ages. Currently, its famous manuscripts are dispersed over a series of libraries, but the handsome catalogue on the yoke exhibit specially created for the colloquium has an illustration of a page highlighting the Latin word for yoke, iugum, in the Lorsch Codex [Note1].

Partial view of the Lauresham reconstructed medieval village
(Photo Cozette Griffin-Kremer)

Throughout its existence, a village sheltered in the protection of the monastic community and this gave rise to the project of reconstituting daily life of the villagers in the 8th-9th century, based on the extensive archaeological excavations that have been carried out on the site, with facilities ideal for both presentation of conference papers and the outdoor demonstrations linked to their themes.

Left: the conference hall in the museum center and Right: Ed Schultz of the ALHFAM and Colonial Williamsburg with his poster, among those in the center lobby (Photos Lauren Muney)

This leads us directly to other networking partnerships involved in building towards the colloquium event: Claus has long been a member of EXARC, the association dedicated to experimental archaeology sites around the world. EXARC has been one of the AIMA’s major friend associations, assuring regular exchange of event announcements and advice. Several EXARC members took part in the academic day for presenting papers on the 8th March, so many, in fact, that there was spillover into the lobby of the Lorsch museum to welcome an extensive series of posters that the authors explained personally to attendees. There was a concentration on archaeological investigation, with mortar-making using cattle draft as just one example, but likewise posters devoted to subjects as varied as using oxen in market gardening, cattle breeds in Canada, preservation of animal handling skills in museums and living history sites, even proposals for linking more humane milk production to work.

The skills preservation topic highlights the participants from another major AIMA partner, the mainly North American ALHFAM (Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums), as well as entirely independent speakers, discovered by Claus in his Internet searches, such as the professional photographer preserving traditional lifeways in Romania or a guest from Uganda piloting a working oxen group with special emphasis on attention to animal (and human) welfare, more effective tillage equipment and ethical agricultural practices.

The first group of attendees to arrive, visiting the Carolingian gatehouse of the Benedictine Abbey site, guided by Claus Kropp (Photo Lauren Muney)
A glimpse of the masterpieces of meerschaum pipery in the Lorsch Tobacco Museum that covers the history of tobacco-growing and consumption. Once a mainstay of the economy in Lorsch, tobacco is now grown by an enthusiastic group of local volunteers dedicated to preserving the intangible heritage of techniques and their products [2] (Photo Cozette Griffin-Kremer)

If there were 120 registered attendees in the auditorium from 20 countries and people from 26 countries watching online, this was made possible by the support of the German Land of Hessen and broader Kloster Lorsch site, whose director was among the hosts leading the heritage site visits offered to all the conference participants on the Saturday. Nota bene that colloquium attendees had but to flash their badges to benefit from free entry to the two other on-site museums, one truly agricultural in nature – the Tobacco Museum – and another on the archaeological excavations that explore the wealth of the abbey complex’s architectural remnants found in excavating a well.

This is a reminder that the Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory within the Abbey complex is directly accessible from Lorsch town’s market square overlooked by some of the  handsome timber-framed buildings, such as the town hall and the eldest example of these, the Weisses Haus (White House). From evening one, many of the colloquium attendees made the Back- und Brauhaus Drayss restaurant-bar on the square their mainstay for meals, including the Saturday outdoor demonstration day picnic food, contributed by the BBD and among the meeting’s local supporters.

The “We in Lorsch” (“Wir in Lorsch”) posters to be seen in the museum and around town announce the triple mission of the site: valorizing local people and the region, pursuing sustainable and innovative land use, and promoting a sense of regional community.

Participants in the Saturday outdoor demonstrations, before they took their coats off (Photo Lauren Muney)
Left: a “worker” getting a cuddle from one of the Lauresham interns, who are as attentive to the cattle’s well-being as to the safety of the public during demonstrations (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer) and Right: one of the reconstituted Lauresham wagons with a first medley of the yokes shown and explained to the public during the outdoor sessions (Photo Daniel Viry)

By Saturday, we were basking in glorious sunshine, a definite perk for the outdoor demonstrations directly linked to working cattle, the implements and vehicles that fit their aptitude as energy providers, both historical and modern. A particular attraction on this first day outside was watching cattle behavior experts show how to approach and then refine the close contact required for both work at a home farm or in a museum context, to ensure the safety of both handlers and the public. As an aside, but an important one, there was much emphasis on the relationship modern oxdrivers establish with their animal partners, even and especially including a good cuddle given regularly. As Claus emphasized, a nigh invisible example of training the Lauresham cattle is to get them to stand still when humans invariably stop right in front of them, which is definitely a feat, since it is the last place to make a halt, were the animals inexperienced in putting up with their admirers.

Left: Goat team offering rides through the reconstituted medieval village (Photo L. Muney) and Right: Alsatian French oxdriver and cattle breeder Philippe Kuhlmann logging with the Lauresham Vosges cattle team (Photo Astrid Masson)

The basics of wise approach and handling was only the beginning, and the demonstrations of equipment were spread out over the “private” Saturday and the very public Sunday, the 10th of March, when Lauresham opened its regular season, with a first day of free entry. The museum folk had hoped for 2000 visitors – they had over 3000! and there was extra spice in the demonstrations, with a team of eight goats (plus a tag-along) for rides, as well as the demonstration of logging in the site’s forest border area and the excitement for the museum-goers of seeing horses as well as oxen deployed in all kinds of field work over the day.

Left: French attendees André Kammerer and Daniel Viry discussing the PROMMATA equipment with presenter Pascal Durand and Right: putting it to work with German Working Cattle Group member Gerd Döring and his Rhaetian Grey (Photos C. Griffin-Kremer)
Left: Paul Schmit of Luxemburg’s Schaff mat Päerd equipment-makers discussing its merits with Alsatian Philippe Kuhlmann and Right: in the Schaff mat Paerd presentation, yellow implements are still prototypes and green are market-ready (Photos C. Griffin-Kremer)

The specialist presentations of equipment provided the opportunity to display and discuss ready-to-work implements, as from PROMMATA, the French developers’ group among the leaders in products for mechanized small farming or market gardening, or the Luxemburg group Schaff mat Paerd (Work with Horses), dedicated to promoting both human and working animal welfare in the form of ergonomically oriented and effective equipment. Among the most interesting aspects of the implement presentations was showing of both market-ready, tested pieces, and prototypes, both of which gave rise to day-long conversations between producers and potential or actual users.

Left: volunteers demonstrating textile creation from A to Z during the Sunday opening day for the public (Photo L. Muney) and Right: children in one of the Lauresham Center’s activities rooms learning how to do card-weaving. These are the rooms with exhibit windows looking onto the Center’s corridor (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer)

There was no dearth of demonstrations involving old “technologies”, adapted to new. Of course, the Lauresham staff showed off some of the laboratory’s outstanding reconstructions of vehicles and tools, explaining how these fit into the site’s reconstituted buildings – barns, granaries, the various pit-houses and the essential hurdle fencing that visitors could participate in constructing. The Lauresham site regularly focuses on direct engagement of visitors, be it through hands-on participation in textile processes or a special activities event for children, such as card-weaving (also called tablet-weaving) on the Sunday.

To make the visitor experience even more bonding with the special exhibit on yokes, some of the pieces were exhibited in “windows” that looked into the room where children were concentrating on their weaving cards, an integrative concept other museums could well be attracted towards, if their facilities permit it. The Lauresham visitor center itself is a paragon of energy balance design, so that the sustainably oriented site puts everyday practice on display to its public.

Saturday evening inauguration of the exhibit Yoke – Joug – Ayoko / A cultural history of the yoke through the millennia (10 March-28 April 2024) (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer)

The yoke exhibit was inaugurated for the conference attendees during the Friday papers session by conservation experts in a 5-minute masterpiece video showing a yoke in the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, from its day-one gifting to restoration and finished museum piece, proudly exhibited among the other Slovene contributions to the Lauresham exhibit. Those pieces were displayed beside yokes of nearly every type – from single head yoke to Chinese fork yoke, representing some 15+ countries – accompanied by careful explanation labels on provenance and functioning, as well as chapter headings discussing yokes from seven perspectives. Particular emphasis was placed on the impressive local diversity of solutions for harnessing oxen.

Left: centerpiece of the yoke exhibit (Photo L. Muney) and Right: the yoke exhibit was enhanced by photographs by Romanian traditional life and heritage photographer Vlad Dumitrescu (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer) and the exhibit catalog draws on archive materials from institutions like the Slovene Ethnographic Museum or the international photo library of AIMA member Paul Starkey, and numerous other photographers, as well as art works from museums worldwide.

Not to forget the present, the exhibit had a video of one of the most active members of the German Working Cattle Group being interviewed by Claus, and this recalled the years-long networking contacts among the German speakers, the French and people or groups from Belgium, Switzerland, Luxemburg and North America, with a special visit from Galician (Spain) oxdrivers to Lauresham.

Left: a Rhaetian Grey patiently awaiting the chance to demonstrate logging on the Sunday opening day (Photo D. Viry) and Right: German Working Cattle pillar Gerd Döring and his two Greys on the starting block (Photo L. Muney)

The German group deployed one of its favorite cattle breeds, very close in appearance to the medieval illuminated manuscripts that indicate fairly small animals at the withers, but very robust. This is Lauresham’s own Raetian Grey oxen and cows (also called Albula Greycattle) and one of the German oxdrivers brought his family’s team to show its style in the field work demonstrations and trialing of modern tillage implements. An especially effective match was provided by the presence during a part of the public day on Sunday of these handsome animals right beside their breed’s promotion association, Das rätische Grauvieh / Albula, and the stand of the G.E.H. (Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung alter und gefährdeter Haustierrassen e.V.) the larger German group dedicated to preservation of local cattle, and other farm animal, breeds.

Left: Matthias Höwer (on right) with his Fritz (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer) and Right: a table full of oxen from the Lorsch Museum shop (Photo L. Muney)

Another of the German oxdrivers – featured in the interview video in the yoke exhibit – brought his Glanrind red ox [3], Fritz, to tower over the Greys that are the models for the Lauresham stuffed toy oxen souvenirs. As a reminder that this partnership of human and animal worker is also at times fragile, the German oxdriver specialized in forest logging meant to attend with his Fleckvieh ox [4] but the animal died unexpectedly. The other members of the German Working Oxen Group are encouraging him to begin again with a young animal. He was scheduled to demonstrate logging alongside the Alsatian French oxdriver who works with the Vosges cattle breed [5]. The Vosgienne, with the Raetian Grey, are promoted as among the only bovines still bred for triple purpose – meat, milk and energy [6]. As a sign of optimum working relations, the ox David celebrated his birthday with a special cake, eaten by his humans.

Left: Claus with David’s birthday cake (Photo L. Muney) and Right: Philippe Kuhlmann’s integrated pad yokes (Photo A. Masson), also illustrated in the Yoke catalog, p. 73.
Left: Véronique and Michel Nioulou with her fly masks and the yoke Michel was working on during the Sunday opening day for the public. NB other types of yokes on display brought by the French team (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer) and Right: musician and yoke-maker Gilles Péquignot discussing a completed piece with Barbara Sosič, AIMA member and Head of the Agricultural Collection at the Slovene Ethnographic Museum, a major contributor to the yoke exhibit and catalogue (Photo L. Muney)

The Alsatian oxdriver, who has been a guest of the Germans more than once, also participated actively in the indoor discussions and the outdoor explanations of harness, since one of his own inventions – an integrated forehead pad and yoke – was in the exhibit. The discussion went on outdoors as well, beside the pieces brought by the two French yoke-makers to demonstrate their craft for the oxen folk on Saturday and the general public on Sunday. There was also an outdoor display of handmade fly masks, for which there is a whole geography of types in France, an essential addition to the welfare of working oxen. Among the liveliest of conversations throughout the meeting was the optimum of comfort for the animals and ease of management for the handlers in using harness, especially the yokes or collars. Needless to say, this discussion is far from over, as witnessed by presentation in the yoke exhibit catalogue of a current effort to pursue improvement on the adjustable 3-pad collar that is the pride of German oxdrivers [7].

Left: the Lauresham blacksmith and farrier making ox-cues (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer) and Right: with various stages of the work on display (Photo L. Muney)

This is not to bypass other participants from countries represented in Lorsch, such as India, Uganda, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Spain, China or Namibia, Cuba, Ireland, Italy or Austria. As networking has long been going on with North America and especially the United States, it was no surprise to have guests from major museums or living history sites, such as Colonial Williamsburg, Howell Living History Farm or The Henry Ford, where working with animals is portrayed for specific historical periods. Such powerhouses of public education are likewise careful, as is Lauresham, to provide as full a context for working animals as they can. At Lorsch, much is done for the broader context of working the land, reconstructing the appropriate buildings, vehicles and implements, and having skills such as the blacksmith-farrier on the scene, since shoeing oxen (depending on the working context) can be an essential factor in their wellbeing.

Left: just a glimpse of the discussion of whether or not osteological analysis of cattle remains could indicate yoking and Right: Jim Slining from Tillers International on forging relevant models of agriculture using draft animal power (Photos L. Muney)

Full circle back to the papers presented in the Friday session, as first in line were the archaeologists taking up precisely this question of physical health: is it possible to detect the use of harness in the remains of cattle? This related directly to the first keynote evoking the close relation between working animals and the human community they are partners of. The historical session that followed the archaeologists and their various bones, spoke of documents, museum practices and the accompanying ethnological enquiries, transmission of skills through film and the strange absence of visibility of working animals in present-day policy discourse. This was a fertile prelude to the following session with its discussion of the role of living history farms and museums in insuring the acquisition of animal handling skills, then a keynote and session on working with oxen in the context of cultural heritage and improvement of farmers’ lives around the world.

Typical of the overarching concern with human and animal well-being is the Oxen Clinic Uganda, which aims at introducing innovative practices of conservation agriculture, efficient, locally produced farming tools and an improved neck yoke to better farming communities’ lives [8].

It was in the contributions of the participants from India that there was a real parallel of concerns with those broached during the AIMA India Congress in October of 2023, especially on land use. This dovetailed with exploration of present-day use of oxen in farming and market gardening in Europe, India, Africa and North America, as well as attention to preservation of cattle breeds in their role of regional identity markers. These highly practical concerns were extended into the final session of papers dealing with effective application of agro-ecological principles and other future-oriented strategies using animal power. It is worth noting that several presenters stressed the role of cattle in various cultures on the level of religion and symbolic representations, as well as in the festive calendar and life cycle events. That is, working cattle are seen as just that - co-workers in a partnership with humankind – with working together efficiently with the well-being of human and animal in healthy communities as foremost.

The diversity of issues dealt with echoed back to the colloquium’s opening interventions, from near and far: the Land Hessen Palace and Garden administration and the other patrons also leading efforts in agricultural sustainability, localization and environmentally sensitive farming. For all of us and our friends, anxious to read the full papers and poster materials, the proceedings will come out in 2025, and the new volume will surely be as attractive and informative as the one on Draft Animals in Past, Present and Future, published by the University of Heidelberg [9].

Guided tour for first arrivals, posing around one of the stars of the show (Photo L. Muney)

One point that clearly emerged from the meeting is the current dynamism of the entire movement to promote working cattle (and working animals) in the context of today’s efforts at encouraging small farming – one of the keynote speakers is among the leading proponents, alongside experts in France and elsewhere, on integrating animal traction into agro-ecological or other practices opening onto new futures in agriculture or market gardening. The question that arose repeatedly was – what’s next?: how to effectuate a passage from these many threads of smaller-scale experience towards much more on-the-ground, economically realistic use of animal energy for farmers worldwide.

In any case, there is now a place and the means to centralize information, research and training, since one concrete result of the Draft Cattle Symposium is the founding of a Center for Working Cattle Research and Training at the Lauresham Open-Air Laboratory in Lorsch.

Cozette Griffin-Kremer

As of 30 March 2024, the German Working Cattle website has two videos online with highlights from the indoor presentations, outdoor demonstrations and interviews with English-speaking attendees on their impressions at (scroll down for videos). A second report is likewise available from Dr. Devinder K. Sadana for the RRAN team here: with ample photos of both people and work. Our thanks to both.

Special thanks to the attendees who contributed photos: Astrid Masson, Lauren Muney and Daniel Viry

As a reminder of the unforeseen element in organizing any meeting, the arrival day for many participants was the Thursday, 7 March, when both the German railroad system and Lufthansa airline were on strike….

The quiet medieval village in Lauresham at Kloster Lorsch awaiting its public                              and the symposium attendees on Sunday morning (Photo C. Griffin-Kremer)


All weblinks were accessible as of 30 March 2024

1.Yoke-Joug-Ayoko, A cultural history of the yoke through the millennia, Catalogue accompanying the special exhibit from 10 March to 28 April 2024, p.14 in excerpt from the Lorsch Codex (ca. 4thquarter of 12th century CE) on Abbot Henry’s will, Staatsarchiv Würzburg, Mainzer Bücher verschiedenen Inhalts 72 (Codex Laureshamensis), 34v.

2.Lorsch Tobacco Museum at and see the team of volunteers at (NB click on translate function for English version).

3.You can read more about Glan Cattle at the English Wikipedia site HERE, but check out the German Wikipedia article as well.

4.You can read more about Fleckvieh at the English Wikipedia HERE including links to other languages.

5.This breed is also called Vosgienne in French Wikipedia

6.Rhaetian Grey Cattle (or Albula Greycattle) are described as the “allrounders from Switzerland”, but are now promoted more widely, See the German promotion group website at in German and English.

7.Yoke-Joug-Ayoko, A cultural history of the yoke through the millennia, Exhibit 44: Prototype combined collar, p. 74.

8.You can read more on the goals of the Oxen Clinic Uganda at

9.Draft Animals in Past, Present and Future


Report on CIMA 2023, AIMA’s first congress in India.

AIMA is pleased to share the rich content of CIMA 2023, the first Congress held in India.

Attendees saw the rich and varied landscape of northeast India as they traveled by train and bus between two host institutions - 13-15 October 2023 at Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences (near Solan, Himanchal Pradesh) and 16-18 October 2023 at Punjab Agricultural University (Ludhiana, Punjab).

You can read reflections from attendees who Zoomed in and who traveled to India HERE.

View of Shoolini University from the CIMA 2023 meeting location. Plated meal featuring millet prepared by renowned chef, Nishant Choubey (14 October 2023).

AIMA anticipated World Food Day (16 October) during the International Year of Millets (2023) with a demonstration by chef, Nishant Choubey. It is easy to see why Eat With India describes him as "sustainable chef."

A bus transferred CIMA 2023 attendees from the Himalaya foothills to the plains of Punjab and the Punjab Agricultural University. There, administrators and faculty welcomed attendees to the many university museums including the Museum of the Green Revolution and the Crop Improvement Museum, among others (stay tuned for reports on each). PAU administrators dedicated a new museum honoring Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush, rice-breeder and 1996 World Food Prize laureate during CIMA 2023.

Tours of two Punjab Agricultural University museums, Museum of the Green Revolution (left) and the Museum of Crop Improvement (right).

A highlight included an evening at the Museum of Social History and Rural Life of Punjab and a talk by the architect of the museum, S. S. Sekhon.

Museum of Social History and Rural Life of Punjab (left) and the architect of the museum, S. S. Sekhon, speaking to CIMA 2023 delegates.

Delegates to CIMA 2023 at the Museum of Social History and Rural Life of Punjab.

The Punjab leg of the conference concluded with a tour of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Jalandhar. This agricultural research station focuses on locally-appropriate technology and delivers information to farm families through short term and vocational training.

Farm fields next to the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Jalandhar with a farmer discussing a training course in artificial insemination, and the concluding tea hosted by PAU administrators and faculty at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Jalandhar (next to a prototype bus stop in background that, when installed, delivers agricultural information while it shelters travelers).

Stay tuned for summaries of site visits, links to recorded presentations, and the conference proceedings.


Agriculture & the International Year of Glass 2022

Agriculture? Glass? What’s the connection?

Fig. 1. Stained Glass Panel, Labours of the Months (October - breaking up clods and scattering wheat), 1450-1475, England. From Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire. Source: Commons Wikimedia.

Have you ever thought about how farmers and market gardeners care for “baby” plants, for example, by covering them with a glass cloche to prevent frost damage or simply creating a special climate by sheltering them in a glass greenhouse?

Fig. 2. Growing strawberries in a greenhouse in Japan, 2005. Source: Commons Wikimedia.

When a farmer works late into the evening, the tractor lights go on and they are glass-fronted, but so is the windshield (windscreen) and look at all the glass covering the gauges in that tractor cabin.

Did your grandmother “put up” vegetables and fruit in glass containers (often called “canning”)?

Fig. 3. Girl holding canning jars. Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York, USA. Commons Wikimedia.

And when she made jams and jellies, she put them in sealed glass jars that revolutionized the shelf-life of foods. Today, farmers might even use tumbled glass in mulch, but.... that is for another message, so stayed tuned for more.

You can learn more about the International Year of Glass here (but AIMA is the best place to learn about "Glass in Agriculture / Agriculture in Glass."


A Year On The Field Project

Comparing 2000 years of cultivation: seeds, technology, and processing

Ploughing a wheat field in rural India. Picture: M. Shrivastava

The "A Year On The Field" Project seeks to exchange knowledge about cultivation of one crop through the centuries and in many parts of the world, powered by diverse museum sites, living history farms and also commercial farms (conventional or organic).

The international project was initiated in autumn 2021 and during the pilot year (2021-2022) the chosen crop is common wheat. Sites and farms participating in the project are developing a unique database on various cultivation traditions, regional seed varieties and traction methods: animal or tractor powered. Moreover, participating sites also network on a deep level despite country lines and distance.

The general aim of the project is to raise public interest in agriculture: its historical implications and for modern sustainable food production.

AIMA is endorsing "A Year On The Field" and is officially hosting the project’s homepage. Additonally, many members of AIMA are also participating in the project and contribute valuable scientific and practical input.

Learn more about the project watching Claus Kropp AIMA lecture on the subject: AIMA Lecture - Claus Kropp - A Year On the Field - YouTube

Follow us through our year on the field:


AIMA 2021 Proceedings & Recordings

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2021 AIMA Conference Proceedings and Links to Recorded Keynotes and Sessions Available Here (June 20, 2023)

First content from AIMA 2021 Congress goes live

Dear AIMA members, we are delighted to share with you the keynote presentations from this year’s International Association of Agricultural Museums Congress, AIMA 2021. These three presentations cover different aspects of the diverse work of our agricultural museums community. We will be sharing further content from the Congress in due course. AIMA members and AIMA 2021 participants will soon be sent links to enable them to access all pre-recorded content shared during AIMA 2021. This release will be followed by full recordings, inclusive of discussions, which are set to be uploaded in the next few weeks. Following on from these advance releases, the full AIMA 2021 playlist will be made accessible to the wider public at a later date. We look forward to producing and distributing written proceedings in a digital format by May 2022. 


Mise en ligne du premier contenu du congs de l'AIMA 2021

Chers membres de l'AIMA, nous sommes ravis de partager avec vous les présentations principales du congrès de l'Association internationale des musées d'agriculture de cette année, AIMA 2021. Ces trois présentations couvrent différents aspects du travail diversifié de notre communauté de musées agricoles. Nous partagerons d'autres présentations et contenu du congrès dans les prochaines semaines. Les membres de l'AIMA et les participants à l'AIMA 2021 recevront bientôt des liens leur permettant d'accéder à tout le contenu préenregistré partagé pendant l'AIMA 2021. Cette diffusion sera suivie par des enregistrements complets, incluant les discussions, qui seront mis en ligne dans les prochaines semaines. Après ces diffusions anticipées, la liste de lecture complète d'AIMA 2021 sera mise à la disposition du grand public à une date ultérieure. Nous espérons pouvoir produire et distribuer les actes écrits sous forme numérique d'ici mai 2022. 

AIMA 2021 - Support Video - How to get subtitles in your language

This short video was produced for participants in the International Association of Agricultural Museums Congress, AIMA 2021. It shows AIMA YouTube channel users to how to take advantage of the auto-translate functions within YouTube to access subtitled content in alternative languages. 

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Cette courte vidéo a été produite pour les participants au congrès de l'Association internationale des musées d'agriculture, AIMA 2021. Elle montre aux utilisateurs du canal YouTube de l'AIMA comment profiter des fonctions de traduction automatique de YouTube pour accéder au contenu sous-titré dans d'autres langues.

AIMA 2021 - Adam Sutherland - Keynote - Connecting Resources, Cultivating Communities

This keynote presentation from the International Association of Agricultural Museums Congress (AIMA 2021) is presented by Adam Sutherland, Director of Grizedale Arts. He discusses the reinvention and evolution of Lawson Park, a long derelict Cumbrian hill farm that is now the hub of a complex program of collaborations between farming communities from Yamaguchi to Southside Chicago.

AIMA 2021 - Nerupama Modwel - Keynote - Agriculture is the Practice of Intangible Knowledge

This keynote presentation from the International Association of Agricultural Museums Congress (AIMA 2021) is presented by Nerupama Modwel, Director of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Division of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. The presentation is set against the backdrop of contemporary Indian agriculture and the rapid changes and complexities of that sector. It introduces us to the work of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, with a particular focus on their conceptualization of agricultural practices and traditions as forms of intangible heritage in need of safeguarding and recording.

AIMA 2021 - Adam Koszary - Keynote - From Farm Museum to Absolute Unit

This keynote presentation from the International Association of Agricultural Museums Congress (AIMA 2021) is presented by Adam Koszary, former Digital Lead, The MERL, University of Reading, and former Social Media and Content Editor, Royal Academy of Arts. In April 2018 The MERL achieved viral internet fame when it tweeted a photograph of an Exmoor Horn Aged Ram, archived as part of holdings related to the journal Farmer and Stockbreeder. This presentation explores how the event affected the museum and the wider sector, the potential for agricultural museums for using social media in advancing their missions, and what is holding them back.